The University of Saskatchewan’s main campus is situated on Treaty 6 Territory and the Homeland of the Métis.

Quebec extends an olive branch to the rest of Canada

By in 2011 Federal Election/Opinions

The polls show a disturbing trend in most of Canada, as the numbers for the Harper Conservatives remain largely intact despite the party’s flagrant contempt for Parliament and Canadian democracy, despite their phony price tag on fighter jets and their illegal run-around of Elections Canada.

We have a large deficit created under this Conservative government and the same people are suggesting massive increases to spending (the largest amount going to American-style prisons and the aforementioned fighter jets).

Flying in the face of all of this evidence, a large number of people believe that the Conservatives are the most fiscally responsible party. Why they believe this? I guess because Harper says so. (If you can’t believe a personality cult exists surrounding Stephen Harper, Google: “Nickleback Harper.”)

However, something has shifted. And Canadians will feel its effects one way or another. Quebeckers are sick of Steven Harper and have found a bastion of hope and progressive policy that is relatively new to them. They have found hope for Canada in the federal NDP lead by Jack Layton.

A friend of mine who works for the NDP in Quebec told me that even some separatists are voting for the NDP because they understand what the stakes are for Canadian democracy and they want to help. In short, Quebec is extending an olive branch to the rest of Canada.

But what happens if we don’t accept?

”‹”‹I suspect that if Harper wins a majority Quebeckers will be deeply hurt. My friend told me, in no uncertain terms, what is at stake for her. “I am ready for revolution: orange revolution or separation!” she said. I don’t doubt that others echo her sentiment. She told me that she has lost friends for supporting the NDP. I went door knocking for a measly hour and a half for this election, and I felt pretty good about myself; she’s out there losing friends for her political beliefs!

”‹”‹I believe the people of Saskatchewan are in a position to accept that olive branch from Quebec.

”‹”‹My mom is friends with an older couple; the man votes Liberal and the women votes NDP. In a rather cute move, they always put up both signs in their front lawn. But not this time; this time he will vote NDP too.

”‹”‹We can make this election count. It doesn’t have to be the same way, and we can prove that this is not “an unnecessary election.” We can stop the “Harper Government” from ruining Canada’s international reputation, from lying and cheating and from inspiring feelings of disunity and seperatism.

The NDP might be Canada’s hope for keeping our Country strong and united. You are not going to hear Jack Layton fear-mongering like Harper, talking about “the security and stability” of Canada, but to a degree this may be part of the larger picture and we may need the NDP to ensure it. At the very least, we can unite the centre-left under the NDP and win some seats in Saskatchewan this time.

”‹”‹I hope we can accept the olive branch from Quebec and make some real change.

image: Flickr

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